Bloggers wondered if having photos is important to a blog. And if yes, should they take the photos themselves, use free clip art or purchase professional taken photos online.
Well, it really depends on your personal style and what you are comfortable with. Some blogs do well by providing good content- and the only images that you will see would be of affiliate or ads. But the pulling factor is due to their appealing and unique content.
Still, some would utilize stock photos bought online from professional photographers. If an account is set up, the photos are relatively cheap and have good resolution.
If you want your blog to appear professional, then you may want to consider avoiding using the royalty free clip art pictures. If you are blogger or even a trainer who constantly scout the internet for images to be used for your website/blog/presentation, you can spot a free clip art picture from a glance. Still, I have seen blogs, even though very few of them that do ok with free clip art- because of the unique content. To confess, I used to have a blog where I managed using only free clip art pictures- and the blog did very well because it dealt with issues that a lot of people could relate to. The images are there for eye candy so that the entire blog does not look so boring. And I ran the blog on Blogger platform.
Even on this blog and some of my other blogs, I am guilty of using free clip art picture- well, I rather use royalty free picture than steal someone else’s pictures. But lately, I’ve reduce the usage tremendously- and start using my own photos.
The quality of the images to use
Some websites use images with a good resolution. But having clear image with good resolution would:
- Cause slow loading- even for broadband users (like Streamyx). When the page loads slowly, the visitors leave before seeing what you have to offer.
- Cost you additional money- either in investing in a better performing site or paying your hosting company extra for bandwidth (because each time a visitor views your blog, they will have to download the images on their PCs and that cause you bandwidth).
For me personally, I’ve decided to compress my images so that the size is small (less than 100 KB). So each image that I take with my mobile phone and camera would have to be shrunk before it is uploaded. I only figured out how to do this recently- so all previous pictures still had huge file size. In my travel sites like Visit Malaysia, I use lots of photos that I take myself.
Previously, I use to carry my camera in my bag- but now, I’ve bought a mobile phone with better camera function. It’s very useful- and you can take pictures discreetly 😉
Nothing illegal but whipping up a camera and busy snapping photos may cause you to be chased off from shops or have other people staring at you, wondering if you are an undercover reporter or something. With my camera, I’ve managed to take lots of pictures wherever I go.
Isn’t all this troublesome?
It depends- I find a lot of fun taking photos and uploading them. Initially, I find it to be a chore, but now, I do it almost effortlessly. Furthermore, I am a visually orientated person and images capture my attention quickly- I would think some, if not most of my readers are probably like me.
It all boils down to passion- if you love blogging, you would love or willing to learn all the things that come with blogging- like using images, SEO (search engine optimization), working with HTML, how to monetize the blog better and apply some quirky ideas that you’ve got out of the blue while showering, driving or even in your dreams J
Next article I plan to write is a free way of how to shrink the photos.